Ink Review: Noodlers Zhivago


I was lucky enough to receive a sample of Noodler’s Zhivago in the mail a few weeks ago. I have so many ink samples, its hard to pick which ones to review first so I did a random grab and this one was the one to go next.

I am not normally inclined to fill my fountain pens with black ink because there are so many great colors to choose from so I started off a little crumudgeonly about this. “Hmmpf. Black ink. Big whoop.” But then I started writing with it and there are subtle hints of green in the black. Its not a deep black-hole black but a deep, grey-green black. In fine nib pens, Zhivago appears pretty black but in the swab test (and I suspect wider nib pens) the subtle greenishness becomes more evident.

It was a fun ink to use for doodling since it repels water pretty well. It’s not bullet proof but its fairly tolerant of water and dark enough to scan drawings later if needed.

I’ve heard it described by others as a “green black”. If you are looking for black-hole black, I would not recommend this ink but if you’re looking for black with a green heart or something a little different, than I highly recommend this. Its black for the green lover.

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  1. Many have argued that Nathan should have classified Zhivago as a green ink instead of a black. Zhivago is a dark olive green in my opinion. The green is really hard to pick up in photos – but is obvious in-person. People who fancied Mont Blanc’s Racing Green may turn to this ink instead for a fix.

  2. Ok you have my attention with a Black ink that’s not really black. I’ve always enjoyed dark greens but never found one that really stuck with me. I’ll give this one a try. Thanks!

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